Dr Carsten Müller - PhD
After obtaining my first degree in chemistry I worked in the field of marine chemical ecology for my PhD. Since then chemical ecology has remained my main research interest but I also maintain a keen interest in ecotoxicology, not least because earlier work demonstrated potential interference between chemical communication and pollution in nereids. A recent project demonstrated that endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) are passed on through the food chain and affect bird song and immune response at levels present in the environment and indicated a potential of synergism between the variety of abundant EDCs.
Invertebrates in sewage filter-beds accumulate EDCs, representing a route into terrestrial organisms via the food-chain.
Research into chemical ecology currently comprises projects investigating a) the chemical ecology wood rot fungi, which show fierce (chemical) interactions when competing for resources, resulting in significant morphological and genetic changes in the fungi and effects on surrounding biota; b) development of a monitoring tool for European Otters based on the scent profile of scent marks (spraints); c) individual recognition in thin-billed prions, which is thought to assist adult birds in finding their nest and would evidence olfactory acuity of the birds.
Interacting mycelia release a complex chemical bouquet that affects the fungi and other soil organisms.
Since joining the School in 1999 I also support a number of projects requiring chemical and chemical analytical expertise, most notably a series of projects investigating mode and effect of anti-microbial properties of Garlic, which are based on a complex mixture of sulphur-containing defensive metabolites, which effect organisms such as MRSA without any evidence of developing resistance.
Thin-billed prion chick outside its underground burrow where it is fed only after dark.
- European Commission
- British Ecological Society
- Knowledge Exploitation Fund (KEF)
- Cardiff University (CYRI)
- Cultech Ltd/EPSRC
- Merck Ltd
- Environment Agency
- Dr Petra Quillfeldt (Thin-billed prion, MPI Radolfzell, Germany)
- Dr Juan Mazello (Thin-billed prion, MPI Radolfzell, Germany)
- Dr Inga Mewis (Natural product chemistry, Humboldt University, Germany)
- Dr Sue Plummer (Anti-microbial properties of Garlic, CullTech Ltd, Swansea)
- Prof Lynne Boddy (wood-rot fungi, BIOSI)
- Dr Hefin Jones (wood-rot fungi, BIOSI)
- Dr Elizabeth Chadwick (Otter spraints, Cardiff Otter Project, BIOSI)
Positions and responsibilities
- Head of Analytical Facilities, School of Biosciences
- Member of referee pool of European Science Foundation